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In a survival scenario, few pieces of machinery are more valuable than a quality generator. At a time when we have become almost entirely dependent on electricity for survival, having the ability to generate power when the grid is down could be the difference between the life and death.
However, generators are also known for being quite noisy, and there are several reasons this could be a problem, from minor issues such as irritating your neighbors to major issues such as attracting unwanted attention from roaming thieves. Thankfully, there are a few great ways to make your generator less noisy.
To reduce generator noise, try the following six methods.
1. Build a Sound Wall Around the Generator
Building a wall around your generator is one of the quickest ways to drastically reduce its noise output. To build a sound wall, all you need to do is stack up cinder blocks around the generator. Stack the blocks one foot higher than the height of the generator, and leave a space of about six inches between the generator and the wall.
2. Reduce Vibration in the Engine Housing
A lot of the noise that a generator produces comes from vibration. To reduce that noise, you can add vibration dampening material to the engine housing. Look at the engine on your generator and notice the screws that secure the engine to the frame. Chances are there will already be rubber washers between the screws and the frame. However, you can add a second rubber washer for even more noise reduction. You may have to replace the bolts with longer bolts in order to make room for a second washer, but the noise reduction is well worth the extra effort.
3. Add a Muffler
In the same way that a quality muffler can reduce the noise output of a vehicle, adding a muffler to your generator can help reduce its noise output as well. For most generators, a motorcycle muffler will work best, though you may need to create a custom pipe system in order to attach it.
4. Add Padding Beneath the Generator
Decide where you want to place your generator, then lay down some rubber waffle padding. This padding will help reduce vibration between the generator and whatever surface it is resting on, making for a quick and affordable way to reduce your generator noise.
5. Purchase a Quiet Generator
As technology advances, manufacturers are working to make generators more and more and quiet, and already there are some great options available that produce much less noise than the typical generator. These generators include:
- Champion Power Equipment 3,100W -This powerful generator is able to produce an impressive 3,100 Watts of power while still only having a decibel level of 58 dBA at 23 feet. Given that an average human conversation is 60 dBA, you can’t get much quieter than that, especially given the generator’s power. The Champion Power Equipment 3,100W weighs less than 100 pounds, runs off a single cylinder 171cc 4-stroke OHV engine, and will run for 8 hours on a single tank of gasoline at 25% usage.
- Honda EU2000i 2,000W – At 2,000 W, the Honda EU2000i is a little less powerful than the Champion Power Equipment 3,100W, but it’s even quieter still. This generator is 59 dBA when it’s running at full power and you are standing right next to it. It also weighs about half as much as the Champion Power Equipment 3,100W, making it incredibly portable. Though you may need more power than the Honda EU2000i offers, it is an excellent option to consider if maximum power isn’t a priority.
- Yamaha EF2000iS 2,000W – The Yamaha EF2000iS 2,000W is a little noisier than the Honda EU2000i if you are running it at full power, with a rating of 61 dBA. However, where this generator really shines is when you are running it at 25% power. At this level, the Yamaha EF2000iS 2,000W has a rating of just 51.5 dBA – which is almost whisper-quiet. In most every other way, the Yamaha EF2000iS 2,000W is very comparable to the Honda, being roughly the same size and delivering the same power.
- Briggs & Stratton P3000 3,000W – Another more powerful option comparable to the Champion Power Equipment 3,100W, this 3,000W generator is able to deliver an impressive amount of power while being rated at 59 dBA. The high power output is great for backing up your home, and 1.5 gallons of gasoline will last you about 10 hours if you are running the generator at 25% power.
It’s worth noting that none of these generators don’t deliver quite the same level of power as a full-sized emergency generator. However, if noise reduction is a priority, then purchasing a quiet generator is an excellent option to consider. In addition to being less noisy, these generators are also more portable and more fuel efficient – both of which could prove to be quite advantageous in the right circumstances.